Youth could be Thunder’s undoing

June 18, 2012

Yes, I picked the Thunder to win, and for good reason. And yes, Jason Reid picked Miami and his favorite player of all time, Lebron James.

For now, Mr. Reid’s prediction has life, but this series is far from over. This young group of Oklahoma City players has shown they have everything to win it all this year, and for years to come.

But they keep showing their inexperience at the wrong time.

The Thunder is a better constructed team from top to bottom and showed determination and poise against a veteran Spurs group in the last round of the playoffs. But now they are forcing shots, committing fouls and unforced errors and missing free throws, which is determining the outcome of their games against the Heat.

The turning point of Game Three was the two three-shot fouls committed consecutively by the Thunder, which created a six-point swing for the Heat. The Heat deserve credit for playing harder and smarter than the Thunder, and for overcoming the same inconsistency we are seeing in OKC.

We are witnessing amazing athleticism from both teams, but one, the Thunder, is bowing to the pressure. I’m not changing my mind about the series, but if Oklahoma City doesn’t snap out of this funk, it could end in Miami, and James will be able to start his run for the rings.

It will be interesting to see if Miami can put OKC away or will let them off the hook as San Antonio did.

One side note: Inconsistent calls by the referees. Games shouldn’t be decided by refs, but there have been terrible calls or missed ones on both sides that helped determine the outcome of games.

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